Military Hospital Support to FEMA Will Begin in Massachusetts, Then Expand

Department of Defense | 2022-02-11

By DoD News

At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency, about 90 military medical personnel — including doctors, nurses, and respiratory therapists — are continuing to deploy in six teams to three states to support civilian health care workers treating COVID-19 patients.  

A woman in a medical gown and face mask checks on an IV fluid tube.
Air Force Capt. Melinda Stevens, a registered nurse assigned to the 60th Inpatient Squadron, Travis Air Force Base, Calif., checks a patient’s IV fluids while shadowing civilian hospital counterparts at St. Francis Medical Center, Monroe, La., Feb. 8, 2022. The Air Force medical team, working side-by-side with civilian medical professionals, is deployed in support of continued Defense Department COVID-19 response operations to help communities in need.

"U.S. Army North's priority remains defense of the homeland, which includes the ongoing, whole-of-government fight against the COVID-19 pandemic," Army Lt. Gen. John R. Evans Jr., Army North commander, said. "It is a team effort — the Department of Defense is one of many federal agencies providing assistance — and I am thankful and proud of our service members' role in this endeavor."

The Defense Department support in medical deployment is beginning in Massachusetts and expanding to Arizona and Maine.

In Arizona, one 15-person team from the Navy will support Canyon Vista Medical Center in Sierra Vista, while another 15-person Navy team will support Valleywise Health Medical Center in Phoenix. These teams join a team supporting a hospital in Yuma.  

A woman in a face mask holds medical equipment tubes and speaks to two people.
U.S. Air Force medical team members engage in hands-on training as part of the integration process with Upstate University Hospital during the COVID-19 response operations in Syracuse, N.Y., Feb. 8, 2022.
A woman wearing personal protective equipment reads a sheet of paper.
Army 2nd Lt. Michele Mayor, a medical surgical nurse assigned to a medical response team currently deployed to Minneapolis, checks a patient's schedule at Abbott Northwestern Hospital, Minneapolis, Minn., Feb. 2, 2022. The medical response team is deployed to the hospital in support of the continued Defense Department COVID-19 response operations to help communities in need.

In Maine, two 15-person teams from the Air Force will support Northern Light Eastern Maine Medical Center in Bangor. These teams join a team supporting a hospital in Lewiston.  

In addition, the joint DOD effort currently or will soon include 30 teams working in 18 states: one in California, three in Connecticut, one in Indiana, two in Louisiana, one in Maryland, three in Michigan, one in Minnesota, one in Missouri, one in New Hampshire, one in New Jersey, one in New Mexico, five in New York, two in Ohio, two in Oklahoma, two in Pennsylvania, one in Rhode Island, one in Texas, one in Wisconsin, and one in the Navajo Nation.

Army North, under U.S. Northern Command's oversight, provides operational command of the teams.  

On Dec. 30, 2021, the secretary of defense approved the activation of 1,000 military medical personnel to support the federal government's COVID-19 response. Five hundred of the 1,000 were made available to support requests for federal support on Jan. 15, 2022. The other 500 became available at the end of the month.  

Four men in personal protection equipment work with computers and other equipment.
Navy Cmdr. Nikunj Bhatt, a critical care provider assigned to the Naval Medical Center San Diego, Calif., speaks with Dr. Bruno Perthus, a resident physician from the University of New Mexico Hospital, about his patient’s status in Albuquerque, N.M., Feb. 8, 2022. The sailors are a part of a medical response team that is deployed in support of the continued Defense Department COVID-19 response operations to help communities in need.

These 1,000 personnel join about 400 other military medical personnel, previously activated to assist civilian hospitals.  

All but about 15 of the personnel announced today are from the recently assigned additional forces. In total, more than 570 of the 1,000 additional forces are supporting, or will soon support, hospitals.